Seafood gumbo, packed with shrimp, oysters, red snapper, and, especially Louisiana blue crab, is a classic South Louisiana dish. Ben Thibodeaux, chef de cuisine of Dickie Brennan’s Tableau in Le Petit Theatre, says, “Our warm, fertile waters help our blue crabs get nice and fat, which lends a sweetness to the seafood gumbo. Whether it’s crab claws sauteed in browned butter or jumbo lump meat in a bit of ravigote sauce, the simpler, the better. Our blue crabs really are the very best.”

Seafood Gumbo
Serves 8
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  1. 1 cup vegetable oil
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  4. 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  5. 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  6. 1 cup chopped celery
  7. 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  8. 3 cups chopped okra
  9. 1 1/2 cups beer, such as Abita Amber
  10. 6 cups seafood stock
  11. 2 tablespoons file powder
  12. 2 bay leaves
  13. 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  14. 1 (8-ounce) container crab claw meat, picked free of shells
  15. 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  16. 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  17. 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  18. 1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  19. 1 pound red snapper fillets, chopped
  20. 2 (8-ounce) containers shucked oysters
  21. 1 (8-ounce) container jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
  22. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  23. Hot cooked rice
  24. Garnish: chopped green onion
  1. In an 8-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes; add flour, and stir together to form a roux. Cook, stirring often, until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra. Cook vegetables, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add beer, stock, file powder, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, crab claw meat, Worcestershire, salt, and cayenne. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 1 hour.
  3. Add shrimp, fish, oysters, and lump crabmeat to mixture. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until seafood is cooked through; add parsley.
  4. Serve with rice, and garnish with green onion, if desired.
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